Viral bronchitis is one of the most common forms of bronchitis. Named because of the fact that a virus is causing the inflammation of the bronchi, viral bronchitis occurs most often in those who have contracted a flu virus. The virus in these cases has spread to the lungs.
If you have a respiratory infection, you could develop viral bronchitis when the same virus that causes colds and sore throat spreads to the lungs. If you have a healthy set of lungs and heart, you probably will recover in a few days. The main symptom of bronchitis is a deep cough that brings up a grayish or yellowish phlegm or sputum from the lungs. Other common sypmtoms include breathlessness, wheezing and fever. Sometimes, the upper chest get quite sore from repeated coughing.
If you smoke, you are more likely to contract viral bronchitis. Smoking weakens the body and enables viruses and bacteria to gain control of our natural defenses. Smokers may suffer flare-ups quite regularly. Pollution from automobile smoke, and job-related contaminated air increase the risk of contracting viral bronchitis. Repeated attacks can cause long term damage from the scarring of the inside of the bronchial tubes causing chronic breathing problems.
What can you do? If you think you are suffering from viral bronchitis, consult your doctor. If you have fever, aspirin may help. Over the counter cough medicines may relieve the discomfort from excessive coughing. Remember that coughing is the natural manner of removing excessive phlegm and foriegn material from your lungs. Because no specific treatment is available to treat viral bronchitis, your doctor may merely try to releive the sypmtoms. If you are wheezing, he may prescribe a bronchodilator drug, which is taken by inhalation. If you are coughing too much, he may prescribe a cough suppressant. Greenish-yellow sputum may indicate a secondary bacterial infection. So, an antibiotic may be needed.